By a Newsnet reporter

As their party conferences in Scotland close, the Scottish National Party said that the more negative the Labour and the LibDems leaderships are about Scotland, the more negative the people of Scotland are about them.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson pointed to a breakdown of the Sunday Times YouGov poll which shows that Ed Miliband scores a minus 45% approval rating in Scotland (even worse than David Cameron’s -31%), while Nick Clegg is on minus 64% (17 points worse than his UK rating).

The poor showings of the anti-independence party leaders have not improved since David Cameron vowed to preserve the Union “with every fibre that I have”, a vow in which Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to support “100%”.  Despite the inducement of promises to discuss further powers for the Scottish parliament, but only after a no vote has been secured in the referendum on independence, all three of the Westminster parties’ leaders continue to poll negatively.  

The poor ratings of Ed Miliband will be of particular concern to Labour strategists.  Even when opposed to an unpopular Conservative leader, Miliband continues to return worse poll ratings than David Cameron, even in Scotland which Labour once saw as a springboard to a return to power in Westminster.  Miliband has struggled to make his mark on the party, which remains mired in internal disputes.  

Many commentators believe that Labour faces another drubbing at the Scottish local elections in May this year.  Labour may even lose control of Glasgow City Council, which would be a devastating blow to the party’s ailing morale.  The party has been unable to escape its reputation for negativity and opposition to all policies espoused by the SNP, irrespective of their merits.

Nick Clegg’s poll ratings are the worst of all.  Like Labour, Scotland was traditionally seen as a stronghold for Clegg’s party, however the party shows no signs of poll recovery from their near annihilation during May 2011’s election to the Scottish Parliament.  Their coalition with the Conservatives in Westminster has led them to be perceived as a proxy for the Tories.

Mr Gibson said:

“The more negative Labour and LibDems are about Scotland, the more negative people in Scotland will be about them – that is why their leaders’ approval ratings are worse in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. Incredibly, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have even worse ratings in Scotland than David Cameron does!

“For a Labour leader’s approval rating among Scots to be far below even an unpopular Tory Prime Minister shows just how unpopular London-led Labour are in Scotland – and the continued negativity at their conference will have done nothing to improve matters.

“Just as the LibDems have suffered for their alliance with the Tories, Labour face the same fate as they gang up with the Tories in opposing independence.

“It is clear that the people of Scotland are appalled by Labour agreeing ‘100 per cent’ with the Tories on Scotland’s future, and are equally unimpressed with the Labour/Tory alliance to vote against the Scottish Government’s budget, and against 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship places.

“Tory/Lib Dem and Labour Westminster governments have failed Scotland – which is why we need the powers of independence to build a fair society and prosperous economy.”


2012-03-05 08:39

Anti-independence parties are getting more and more desperate and long may it continue as, being this disorganised, can only be good for us. When are they going to recognise that the referendum is in autumn 2014 – the sooner rather than later brigade is only annoying people.
2012-03-05 08:44

I watched with some shock at the empty seats at the Caird Hall and Eden Court. I am desperate to get a seat at the SNP conference and so are my chums.
I have been told I will be lucky if I get tickets for the hottest show in town.
2012-03-05 09:20

I’ll be there :D(Many from the NE will !)
Welsh Sion
2012-03-05 19:09

So will I, clootie – wearing the red dragon flag on my back. Hope we can meet up – and anyone else who wants to, too…

2012-03-05 09:00

Scottish independence: Willie Rennie hits out at Alex Salmond’s time spent ‘courting’ rich and powerful

Oh dear Willie have you forgotten the rich one that donated to the Libs who gave £2.4million of stolen money,have a look at what AS had to say to Nicol Stephen in Parliament about that.
J Wil
2012-03-05 09:15

It was laughable to hear Rennie tell his conference how there was going to be an important role for the LibDems in the future, pulling all the parties together to get a devolved solution for Scotland.

I hope a marker is also put dowm for liberal councillors in May, just to show how insignificant they have become in Scotland.
2012-03-05 11:16

“Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government oblivion.”

2012-03-05 10:07

More on unionist positivism in the Herald’s LibDems see off grassroots revolt…/….

Mr Mollison’s motion called on the LD leadership “to engage with the Scottish Government so as to get the option of Home Rule included in the referendum in a fair way“, to run a “positive campaign in favour” of this option and to back the Scottish Government in seeking to give 16 and 17-year-olds a vote in all ballots, including the referendum.

From the article, it seems that Mr Mollison was virtually a lone voice of sanity with his: “I want us to adopt a positive, distinctive position. Refusing to accept a second question on Home Rule is cutting off our nose to spite our face”.

In unionist “business as usual” mode was Malcolm Bruce’s litany of smears, worthy of their noble Lardships, the 2 Fs and Beaker’s Dad, including describing the FM as the most “brutal, cynical manipulator in British politics” and likening an independent Scotland to South Sudan and “a sobering list of countries like Republic Srpska, South Ossetia, Kashmir, Basque Region, Catalonia, Chechnya, Greenland, North Cyprus, Transnistria”.

A fine example of positive unionism which will doubtless reap its just rewards come May.
2012-03-05 10:45


You beat me too it – I was outraged when I read the comments by Malcolm Bruce. We see our abilities and potential on a par with Norway / Sweden / Denmark etc and he insults us as being incapable of such achiement without the guiding hand of Westminster.

I hope the residents of GORDON are made aware of this arrogance.

I cannot believe an MP would have such a low opinion of those he represents.

I suppose it is his great opportunity to achieve the ermine after many years of representing Westminster in Scotland.
2012-03-05 10:57

Who remembers the odious Malcolm Bruce’s coupon on Election night 2007 when Alex beat Nora Radcliffe in Gordon?

When interviewed, the bile was spewing out of him.
2012-03-05 11:19

What I don’t understand is: why IS he so odious? Weren’t LibDems supposed to be nice?

J Wil
2012-03-05 11:28

“…I was outraged when I read the comments by Malcolm Bruce”

Ditto. He sounded like a man possessed. The last throws of a political generation which has been overthrown.
2012-03-05 18:05

[quote name=”J Wil”]“…I was outraged when I read the comments by Malcolm Bruce”

The last throws of a political generation…guess the dinosaurs felt the same when their time was up too!

I can see the future geologists looking at the remains in the rock of a “Malcomus Brutus Incompetus”. LOL!

2012-03-05 19:30

This snivellling little man is my MP, you should see some ot the stuff he writes in the weekly local paper. He has stopped even replying to my emails, took the hump when I asked for his help to identify who it was from his party heckling Angus Robertson during PMQ’s.
At least I had the pleasure last week of intercepting a Lib Dem leafleter at my door, and when I saw what they were handing out handed it back and told them it was SNP all the way for me.
I truly hope that come the council elections the Lib Dems representation is reduced significantly.

2012-03-05 12:19

We should also note the sickening comments of Alan Reid in that article. Apparently if the FM refers to someone as a gauletier, that’s wrong – but it’s OK to compare the FM to Stalin. They really are the rankest of hypocrites, aren’t they?
2012-03-05 12:26

Poor Malcolm has missed the boat. Since we are looking at a yes vote for independence there will be no more Lordships to be handed out like toys in a cereal box.

2012-03-05 12:26

Is there not normally some polls done after conferences to gauge the impact of these events on voting intentions?
2012-03-05 13:06

Normally, following conferences, parties often see a small surge in their vote share.

I suspect however, the exact opposite could be the case here.

2012-03-05 13:22

Actually I think a “Lord” Malcolm Bruce would fit in very well with the self-proclaimed Toxic Twins, Forsyth and Foulkes. They could then rebrand themselves as the Toxic Trio. If joined by Wallace of Tankerness, they could even call themselves the Festering Foursome.
2012-03-05 14:58

Remember “they “ are all in it together, labour, Tories, libdems, trade unions and all the media that they can control
2012-03-05 18:12

Who would have thought that the trade unions would come out in wholesale support of the Tory party policies,the fact that they are also Labour policies makes it even sadder.
2012-03-05 18:15

And “WE” are the Scots!
2012-03-05 20:15

Negativity breeds negativity.

Positivity might breed negativity from the negative-minded, but it can also breed positivity from the open-minded.

Stay positive, it’ll breed self-confidence and positivity, and Scotland will become independent and join other small independent nations.
2012-03-05 21:37

I’m convinced that will make the difference.

2012-03-05 23:06

A wee bit off topic, but I had a wee thought earlier…..

If Scotland should happen to vote NO in 2014 to independence, then why not in the spirit of “stronger together/ a United Kingdom” relocate the UK parliament to Edinburgh for the next 300 years, and adjust the balance of MPs to something along the lines of 500+ to Scotland and 50+ to England. We are partners, after all. No?
How does that sound?
2012-03-05 23:40

Sounds fair enough to me. Only one thing though; we’re aw voting YES! 😉

2012-03-05 23:58

Glasgow….I’m not worried about “us”. We’ll all be voting YES. It’s those pesky postal “voters”.
2012-03-06 00:56

And the Labour loyals who come to vote from their graves…

I was discussing Russia’s Presidential election with my dad today, and then we went on to talk about population registers and electoral rolls (Finland has a very efficient, integrated, up-to-date centralised system). My dad was quite shocked when I explained the situation in Great Britain to him, e.g. the postal vote system and how it can be abused.

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.